The dream of many parents is to put their children in a position to succeed—to reach even greater career heights than their parents. The first step toward attaining this goal is for children to obtain a higher education by going to college. Unfortunately, college is expensive. Really expensive, as you have to pay for tuition, textbooks, supplies, clothes, phone plan, housing, utilities, food, and a little spending money.
Unsurprisingly, the rate at which college costs have increased has far outpaced the rate at which most parents’ salaries have increased. More than ever, it is crucial to approach your child’s college education with a plan. As the idea is for your child to one day become a self-sufficient adult, this college plan should be part of a coordinated team effort between parents and their children.
- Have frank discussions with your children about college. See what your children’s goals are, which colleges they want to apply for, and why they are interested in those programs. Also, have discussions about the costs of private colleges versus in-state public universities. It is important to bridge the gap between their expectations and what you can afford to contribute.
- Work with your children to research scholarships, stipends, and financial aid that may be available to them. In addition, talk with them about the various values that can come from a work-study job while they are in college. These steps can significantly help make college more affordable, but will also later give your children some pride and ownership in having paid for their college.
- Take advantage of educational savings accounts, which can lock into current in-state tuition rates and also provide significant tax benefits. These may be available through the state, the federal government, or through your employer.
- Budget your money carefully, and put your educational savings into an account that is difficult for you withdraw funds from. This money should be specifically earmarked for your child’s college fund.
Let New Direction Family Law Assist You
The attorneys at New Direction Family Law provide legal representation and advice to men and women who need help with post-separation agreements, property division, alimony, child custody, and child support issues. Our attorneys are professional, effective, and caring. With years of legal experience and a reputation of excellence, we want to fight for your legal rights and to help you discover your new direction. Our team serves clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit us online at our website.
Carly G. Baker
New Direction Family Law